North West England and The Isle of Man
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Think of north west England, and you may consider that there is little to excite the walker outside of the Lake District, but think again! The high moorlands of the western Pennines, such as Cumbria's Eden Valley and the Forest of Bowland are fantastic for long days out, with few people to spoil the views. The Eden valley guidebook has a fabulous collection of 30 walks from bases such as Kirkby Steven and Appleby, from which you can easily reach iconic sites such as High Cup Nick, Pendragon castle and the Nine Standards. Further south lies the Lune Valley and the Howgills. The Howgills offer walking on great whalebacks of hills, dissected by steep-sided valleys with Sedbergh nestling at the foot of the range, while the beautiful Lune Valley carves an elegant course down the western side of the Yorkshire Dales through Kirkby Lonsdale to Lancaster and the Irish Sea.
Situated overlooking Morecambe Bay is the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty known as Silverdale and Arnside, comprising coastal walks, and extensive views from limestone outcrops. On a clear day you might even see the distinctive outline of the Isle of Man on the horizon, an island full of charm and a variety of scenery, from the spectacular round-island coastal walk, to day walks visiting intimate glens, bays and harbours, or ascending Snaefell 2,037 feet (620.9 m), the highest point on the island. East of Lancaster lies the Forest of Bowland, with 40 walks in the guidebooks that include the famous Pendle Hill to the south. This area will also delight the walker, with beautiful rolling moorland hills and pretty villages too visit, while for cyclists, it can be crossed on one of the two 225km loops that comprise the Lancashire Cycleway. Mountain bikers and those with a gravel bike can tackle the 144km Dales section of the Pennine Bridleway, or the suggested circular loops in the area. The West Pennine Moors can easily be accessed from the old mill towns of Blackburn, Darwen, Chorley and Bolton, providing a mixture of short easy rambles and more challenging walks.
In addition to the Lancashire Cycleway, cyclists will also enjoy both Hadrian's Cycleway and The Way of the Roses, as both of these routes originate in the north west, and cross the Pennines to the North Sea.
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